New Roots Cooperative Farm

This entry was last updated on July 31, 2016

This 30-acre farm in Lewiston is the first New American cooperative farm in Maine. Its four owners — Mohamed Abukar, Batula Ismail, Seynab Ali and Jabril Abdi — are originally from Somalia.

For the past 10 years, they have farmed with Cultivating Community’s New American Sustainable Agriculture Project at Packard-Littlefield Farm in Lisbon. Through New Roots Cooperative Farm, they are creating a permanent home for their farm businesses while also providing healthy food to the community and preserving working farmland in Lewiston.

New Roots Cooperative Farm is structured as a producer cooperative where each farmer owns a share of the business, and all share marketing, distribution, equipment and land. The Cooperative Development Institute assisted in developing the cooperative structure and helping the farmers develop their business plans. Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) was contracted by Cultivating Community to help the farmers find farmland within a 30 mile radius of Lewiston, the farmers’ home. While the hope was to find a landowner that was willing and able to lease farmland to New Roots Cooperative Farm, the most promising prospect that MFT found for the farmers was for sale: a parcel of the former Gendron Dairy Farm in Lewiston.

New Roots Cooperative Farm will move its farming operation from Lisbon to Lewiston in 2017 and will open a farm stand, offer personal and workplace community-supported agriculture, provide wholesale to institutions, restaurants, stores and food pantries and will continue to provide vegetables to their customers at farmers markets.

See https://www.facebook.com/newrootscooperativefarm

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Year Founded: 2016

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